Blue Knights - Night Talk

Night Talk - 4.51
Funky Bill - 3.50
Miami Groove - 3.37
Smooth Night - 4.36
Paris Texas - 3.21
First Date - 4.20
Dubai Dance - 3.52
Next Sunset - 5.04
Boogie 99 - 3.22
The Moon - 4.50
Marmaris-Out - 4.03
Saturday Morning - 4.06
Blue Train - 4.42
Vegaz Dance - 4.07

It’s funny how chance meetings can change lives. A decade ago, Curtis McLaw was running a studio that turned out soundtracks for movies and television commercials. Jay Heye was a TV moderator just down the hall. The two struck up a friendship and discovered a shared love for the funkier sounds of urban America. After experimenting in McLaw’s studio, they decided to indulge that love by launching a new group. The result was Blue Knights, authors of a string of popular releases that routinely conquer the Progressive Jazz charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The two Blue Knights complement each other almost perfectly. McLaw, 41, is a guitarist and keyboard player with a strong rock background and a magician’s gifts in the studio. (He is also one half of the instrumental duo Dancing Fantasy, whose releases regularly top the New Age charts.) Heye has played piano for all but five of his 33 years. Over that time, he has absorbed influences as disparate as Quincy Jones, Prince and jazz great Oscar Peterson, his pianistic hero. Add the rock- and blues-flavored guitar of Bill Joseph Flynn and the expressive saxes (tenor, alto and soprano) and flute of Mr. P.T. and you have the Blue Knights, edition 2000—four good friends, four very accomplished musicians. Like most Blue Knight releases, Night Talk is a joint creation. McLaw and Heye wrote most of the tunes, the exceptions being “Funky Bill” and “Marmaris-Outro” (Heye and Flynn) and “Dubai Dance” (Heye and Mr. P.T.). It should quickly be added that—again like all Blue Knights releases—Night Talk establishes a pleasant, infectious groove from the beginning and never loses sight of it, whatever the mood or tempo of a particular cut. “Saturday Morning” sets the laid-back, upbeat tone from the opening bars. Listen especially to Mr. P.T.’s nifty way with the main theme. The title cut is a lovely ballad highlighted by Mr. P.T., this time on soprano sax, supported beautifully by Heye’s keyboard work. It’s surely one of the outstanding cuts in a CD full of memorable songs. Consider “Dubai Dance,” for instance, an funky nod to the exotic Middle East—or “Miami Groove” with its strong, simultaneous hints of calypso and salsa over a funky urban beat. Favorites anyone? If we were voting ours would probably be Jay Heye’s gorgeous piano solo, “The Moon.” It’s righteous, romantic, lyrical—memorable. It’s unique on the album—the only all-acoustic piece in a studio-wizard’s world. Yet it fits marvelously, perhaps because it’s ultimately what the Blue Knights are all about—beautiful music, beautifully played. --- PRODUCED: By Curtis McLaw in STUDIO-1, Germany Spring 2000 --- ARTISTS: Curtis McLaw, Jay Heye (keyboards) Bill Joseph Flynn (guitar) Mr. P.T. (saxophone, flute) D. Schmidt (e-bass) --- TRACKS: (1) Saturday Morning (4.06) (2) Blue Train (4.42) (3) Vegaz Dance (4.07) (4) Night Talk (4.51) (5) Funky Bill (3.50) (6) Miami Groove (3.37) (7) Smooth Night (4.36) (8) Paris-Texas (3.21) (9) First Date (4.20) (10) Dubai-Dance (3.52) (11) Next Sunset (5.04) (12) Boogie 99 (3.22) (13) The Moon (4.50) (14) Marmaris-Out (4.03)

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